Further, the attributes of pilgrimage proposed by Ian Reader (1993, 7-8) provide an account of the varying motives of participants who attend the Lennon memorial: “the idea of a journey out of the normal parameters of life, the entry into a different, other, world, the search for something new, the multiple motives of participants, ranging from homage to veneration to the simple impulses of curiosity.”
These definitions encompass the differing motives of individuals visiting Strawberry Fields. For some, the memorial would be a sacred space, a location where fans have the opportunity to mourn Lennon's death, offer tributes and be in the presence of his spirit: “You come here, you feel his spirit. His spirit is so alive in here,” a fan comments. Other participants may come to the memorial as one part of their visit to New York City. Badone...
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...his paper and in Riddell (2008), on pilgrimage to the gravesite of Jim Morrison, I learned that people apply religious categories to “secular” phenomena, such as memorial objects, strange occurrences become supernatural phenomena, and a musician, such as Morrison, can become a “religious figure.” Erika Doss (1999, 74-75) believes that “as a profoundly religious people, Americans tend to treat things on religious terms, apply religious categories, and generally make a religion out of much of what is touched and understood.” The practice of “parrallelomaina,” as Sean McCloud (2005) characterizes it, that is, understanding religion in popular culture by analogy, may or may not be helpful. What is significant, for future study, I suggest, is the process by which dead celebrity fandom is sacralized and the ability of an ethos to be the foundation of such a community.
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